It's been a strange year. It was one of those summers that began really concisely and I had imagined that it would end that way, too, but in fact it never really ended at all. Into late fall there were days that felt distinctly summery.
Obviously, they were warm days, but really it was this certain feeling of freedom and possibility, and you'd have the sense, sitting in the sun with your coffee, that none of this was really happening to you, that it was all just a game. It was artifice, some John Cheever story: "It was one of those midsummer Sundays when everyone sits around saying 'I drank too much last night." I kept waiting for Real Life to begin again and it never really did, not when I got back to New York, not when school started, not when demands of work gave open days structure and shape.
And today, too, feels distinctly like summer and I can't say why. Still sitting in the sun with my coffee. Still feeling like the whole world is wide open in front of me. I have class in an hour but that's a million years away from now. There's an entire lifetime in between that space and this one.
So, I really hate the fall. I'm not saying that as some kind of contrarian reaction to the fact that fall is now the seasonal equivalent of brunch (don't ask me to explain that metaphor). I'm saying that because I am one of those people who gets cold if it's less than 80 degrees; because I'm not a huge fan of filling, heavy fall food; and because I hate, hate, hate, hate winter. Just a lot of reasons, okay? I don't like it. I don't like feeling like I can't uncross my arms or take my hands from my pockets.
But I'm growing to appreciate it. I mean, I'm working on it. I love the way the sun makes these long, low columns of light that make everything look like an Edward Hopper painting. I happen to be a really huge Hopper fan (and yeah, Nighthawks, which I feel like is kind of pedestrian but whatever). There's a certain calmness, a refined stillness. It's the final, quiet reflection of the sun before sunset; before the light becomes the blue of winter. The play of the sun in an empty space always reminded me of walking into a room where there's just been an intense conversation - you can still feel some sort of electricity there, this sense that something important has just happened, but all that's left is the shadows and the sun into the windows.